Ships headed for several Middle Eastern countries will see their insurance premiums soar, following a decision by the London War Risks Committee on Monday.

The committee has decided to increase the number of countries subject to war risk surcharges.

Countries affected by the move will include Syria, Egypt, Pakistan, Yemen, Oman, Syria and Algeria, as well as the Gulf of Oman and the Red Sea.

A Lloyd's spokesman said: "Any ship entering these areas has to notify the underwriter, and there will be a surcharge for this."

He added the move would put the Middle Eastern countries on the same footing as war-torn countries such as Sri Lanka when it comes to insurance pricing.

This may mean hefty price hikes for shipping companies. After Sri Lanka was declared a war zone, marine underwriters increased rates in shipping to the capital Colombo by 4,000 to 28,000%, with hull and machinery premiums soaring from 0.0025% to 0.7%.